HOW WOULD YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED?
By: Shelly Aristizabal
Do you remember the best day of your life so far? If I asked you to describe your perfect day, would it be a beautiful sunny day frolicking at the beach? Maybe you would always remember hitting a hole-in-one on a lush, scenic golf course? Or relaxing on a spectacular sailboat cruising on a peaceful lake? Close your eyes right now and create a perfect day in your mind. Ahhhhh, that’s nice…
Now, imagine if you were to plan your last day living on earth… and that day was tomorrow. Whoa… Would it still be that same perfect day you created above? For most of us, if we were to plan our last day of life, it would be spending the day with the ones we love, who love us & love each other. Maybe we would make a few phone calls, asking for forgiveness or offering forgiveness. Who would you spend the day with? What would you say? What would you do? What would you want to leave behind? How would you want to be remembered?
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Every one of us has encountered that saying many times, right? It somehow gives us a feeling of comfort and hope, that we get a fresh start each morning. Maybe today will be the day to take the opportunity to make some changes, do something different to make a difference in our lives.
In contrast, “Live today as if it is your last”. This sentence tends to create a sense of urgency. Those of us, who tend to take on this philosophy, simply don’t want to miss anything. Let’s get to the doing of it! Experience life with a sense of purpose. It is important to make the most of our time here, God has something very special for each of us to accomplish. Why not make a plan to die empty?
As an example, consider how much we all get done the day before we go on vacation. It is interesting that we don’t really know too much more information, we have the same amount of hours, yet we will double our performance that day before we go on vacation. Why & how does that work? Maybe, if we understood that, and applied that to every day of our life, we would be more productive & more beneficial to ourselves and the people around us. Could it be that the day before vacation, we have a game plan & and we have accepted responsibility to follow through on it. Think about it… If planning one day can make such a radical difference in that day, think what a difference a game plan for life would make.
My friend just recently lost her battle with cancer. After several months of treatment, she was given 3 months to “live”. Sadly, her time ran out after only one week. She was young, beautiful and left behind her husband and four little children. Her final days were a very emotional time and she was scared. She asked the question “why is this happening to me? I’m not ready to leave my family.” We talked briefly about her regrets in life. She talked mostly of how she so desperately wanted to live to see her four, sweet young children grow up – to attend their school functions and watch them play sports, see them get married… will they be OK without her? She longed for the trips they hadn’t taken together. She was sad that she & her husband had not made a lot of time for themselves… “We were always so busy” – she wanted to live to spend time with them, to make more memories with her family and for her family. Most importantly, we talked about what happens next for all of us, where she will spend eternity. She did not want to leave earth; there was still so much she wanted to do. It gave her comfort and peace knowing the love of Jesus was with her. Her life, like ours, is in God’s hands. We prayed together and we read the Bible together. She will be missed and remembered by so many who loved her.
Remember the people who come into our lives for a short time. Reflect and learn from the past, it will give us power for the future. Know that it is never too late to get better at living with those we love. Be thankful that today is the first day of the rest of your life… live it like it is your last!!!!! AND, make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering!